Press Releases

First-Ever Global Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism to Take Place on 16 March

February 17, 2021

17 February 2021 (New York) – The Frankfurt am Main Municipality will host the first-ever Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism alongside the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) on March 16th. The digital summit will bring together municipal and local leaders from across the world, empowering them to eradicate anti-Semitism, prejudice and hatred from their cities.

Policy solutions to anti-Semitism are usually enacted at the national or international level. In reality, anti-Semitism is also a local problem which manifests itself in cities and localities. Therefore, it can often best be solved through mayoral initiatives in the areas of education, law-enforcement, and community cohesion. For the first time, the 2021 Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism will open a crucial dialogue between cities around the world in order to provide municipal leaders with the tools they require to combat hate.

Key speakers at the event will include Frankfurt Mayor Uwe Becker, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close, Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj, Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola, Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and Mayor of Bal Harbour Gabriel Groisman.

Panel sessions will also take place, designed to provide practical solutions for mayors in combatting Jew-hatred in their cities. They include sessions on education and the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism; Legislation, security and law enforcement; Overcoming trauma; Interfaith and cross-communal relations. Participants will feature senior officials including Vera Jourova (Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency) and Michael O’Flaherty (Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights).

Mayor of Frankfurt am Main, Uwe Becker: Anti-Semitism is not an abstract threat. It takes place in cities, counties, and towns all around the world. We must confront anti-Semitism where it takes place. As mayors and municipal representatives, we have a duty to protect our communities and ensure the continuity of Jewish life in our cities. I call on municipal leaders in Europe, the U.S. and all around the world to join us and work to translate our values into practical policies.”

Mayor of Pittsburgh, William Peduto: “Tragically, my city of Pittsburgh has witnessed the appalling consequences of anti-Semitic hatred. Those who lost their lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue will never be forgotten. Moreover, the very best way in which we can honor their memory, is by making sure that we understand how best to tackle and defeat those who seek to intimidate and harm the Jewish communities and residents of our cities.”

Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis: “In far too many cities around the world, vandalized Jewish cemeteries, offensive graffiti and attacks on Jewish houses of worship have become far too common. Moreover, because contemporary forms of anti-Semitism come from across the ideological spectrum, there is no single answer to the problem. For this reason, it is so important for municipal leaders from across the globe to come together to collaborate and adopt best practices to defeat anti-Semitism.” 

Advisor to the UK Government on Antisemitism and CAM Advisory Board Member, Lord John Mann: “During the decades I have dedicated to fighting hatred against Jews, I have said it many times before and I will say it again – the disease of antisemitism is not simply a problem for Jewish communities, it’s a destructive force for all of society. And much like a disease, it cannot only be treated only at the surface, national level – it must also be confronted on the municipal level.”

Noemi di Segni, President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, a partner in the Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism: Today it is more important than ever to develop an ability to work in a networked manner with all the relevant institutions. Each with its role and mission.  As no one can face this challenge alone we need to ensure a coherent approach across all the activities: educational, regulatory and cultural.”

The Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism will take place on Tuesday 16 March at 10.00 EST and will be broadcast via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

Registration in advance is required by clicking here.

The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement is a non-partisan, global grassroots movement of individuals and organizations, across all religions and faiths, united around the goal of ending anti-Semitism in all its forms. Since its launching in February 2019, 305 organizations and 310,000 individuals have joined the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement by signing the campaign’s pledge. The CAM Pledge draws upon the IHRA international definition of anti- Semitism and its list of specific behaviors used to discriminate against the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.